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念佛四十八法 19) 老实持名 True and Earnest Buddha Recitation
 
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19) 老实持名

True and Earnest Buddha Recitation

To eschew wealth and fame, to avoid showing off one’s capacities, but merely to practice sincerely – this is something very few can achieve.

The ancients taught that it is difficult to find a “dull and ignorant” Zen practitioner, even if we go out of our way. Yet, a practitioner of Buddha Recitation need only worry that he is not “dull and ignorant”.

The two words “true and earnest” are a straight highway leading to the Pure Land. Why? It is because when Buddha Recitation is true and earnest, there are only the words “Amitabha Buddha”, and not a single deluded thought.

既不求名利,又不逞才能,老实修行,最为难得,祖师云:参禅中觅个痴钝人不可 得,今之念佛人,正患其不痴钝耳?!老实二字,是生西方之一直大路,何以故?老 实者,不于阿弥陀佛四字外,添一毫妄想也。

Commentary

The practitioner who singlemindedly recites the Buddha’s name, is not attached to any external realm, is unmoved by any disturbances and sees everything as not connected in any way to himself – such a person may appear outwardly as extremely naive, “dull and ignorant”. However, he is precisely the one who is truly enlightened, truly pure. Such a person is not easy to find!

Furthermore, according to Pure Land teaching: “without singleminded recitation, it is impossible to achieve re-birth in the Pure Land.” With singlemindedness, myriad conditions are left behind and only the Buddha’s name remains. At that time, the practitioner’s m ind and the Buddha Mind are in unison; the Western Pure Land is not separate from the practitioner. There is no need to probe deep or ponder far, for the Buddha’s realm is in front of us. The Pure land path is truly unique!


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